“Apple has lured away top Nike design director Ben Shaffer, according to a source at Nike with knowledge of the details behind Shaffer’s departure,” Mark Gurman reports for 9to5Mac.

“At Nike, Shaffer was the Studio Director of the Innovation Kitchen,” Gurman reports “This is Nike’s research and development lab where new product designs are created. Under Shaffer’s lead, Nike was named the most innovative company in 2013 by Fast Company. Nike’s Innovation Kitchen has been responsible for wearable products like the popular Nike Fuel Band, and most recently, the Flyknit shoe.”

Gurman reports, “With Apple’s continued development of its own wearable watch-like device, Shaffer’s experience in working on the Fuel Band will be critical. The Nike Fuel Band is a popular product amongst Apple executives, including Apple CEO (and Nike Board member) Tim Cook and former Hardware lead Bob Mansfield. Based on Apple’s experience and usage of the Fuel Band product, it seems like that Apple’s own wearable computer will have similar fitness-tracking abilities. Furthermore, we recently reported that Apple hired the top fitness-expert (and Nike consultant) for the Fuel Band, Jay Blahnik.”

Nike+ Fuelband

Nike+ Fuelband

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: This is a big deal. This guy was Nike’s Jony Ive.

In April, Shaffer explained his role in Nike’s Innovation Kitchen design labs:

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Nike: We’re not working on a Nike+ FuelBand app for Android – February 11, 2013
iWatch’s novelty emerges as Apple assembles team of sensor and fitness experts – July 18, 2013
Apple on aggressive hiring spree for smartwatch project, sources say – July 14, 2013
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